A 32-year-old Alabama woman has been charged in the death of her 44-year-old uncle following the fatal house fire at the family’s home in late December, according to reports.
Keechaundra Deshay Cook is charged with capital murder, Birmingham police announced Thursday. Cook’s uncle, Otis Jones Jr., died Jan. 5, more than a week after he was critically injured in the fire.
The charge is capital because it involved a death taking place during the commission of another felony crime, which in this case was arson.
Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service, Tarrant Fire and Birmingham police and were dispatched at 4:54 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, to a report of a house fire with a person trapped in the 1000 block of Westley Street. That location is in Inglenook, near the City of Tarrant.
Firefighters were able to quickly get inside and pulled Jones from the fire. They resuscitated him on the scene and rushed him to UAB Hospital where he remained until he was pronounced dead on Friday, Jan. 5.
Birmingham police Officer Truman Fitzgerald said fire investigators classified the fire as an arson investigation.
The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy on the victim; the autopsy revealed the victim’s manner of death was homicide.
Tarrant and Birmingham police investigated the arson, Fitzgerald said.
Investigators said Jones was at home with Cook when the house became engulfed in flames.
On Wednesday, January 10, arson detectives learned Cook was in custody for separate charges in a neighboring jurisdiction, and subsequently interviewed her. Warrants were obtained Thursday.
Cook will be booked into the Jefferson County Jail where she will be held without bond.